Non-nutritive sweeteners, or artificial sweeteners including Stevia, have bacteriostatic effects that prevent gut bacteria from reproducing and increase Firmucutes in mice. PLOS
→Takeaway: Eliminating non-nutritive sweeteners from the diet is an important step in improving microbial health. Even Stevia can be problematic, although derived from a natural source. If you feel the need to sweeten a beverage or food, use Manuka honey as your gold standard. With probiotic properties, Manuka honey is not only incredibly tasty, it may even be beneficial for the gut. Keep in mind that Manuka honey is high in sugar and should be consumed sparingly. Limit your daily intake to 1 serving and enjoy the benefits of a probiotic-rich sweetener!